Talamo wins 2 before Breeders' Cup even begins
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) - ARCADIA, Calif. - Jockey Joe Talamo was the hottest horseman coming into the Breeders' Cup.
The rider won Friday's first two races on the Santa Anita undercard before the championships got under way, and would try to carry the momentum to three Breeders' Cup mounts later in the day.
He was quick to retweet fan congratulations like "GO JOE!'' on his Twitter account after the victories and before the day's first Breeders' Cup races.
The 22-year-old Louisiana native has quickly become among the dominant jockeys in Southern California and the nation and is fast approaching a $10 million season, but has won just one Breeders' Cup race - the 2009 Turf Sprint aboard California Flag.
His best chance to add to his total looked to be aboard trainer Bob Baffert's Jaycito in the $500,000 Marathon.
He was also set to ride Richard Baltas' Flashy Ways in the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf and longshot Include Me Out in the $2 million Ladies Classic for Ron Ellis. Talamo would do well to stay in Ellis' good graces. He's dating the trainer's daughter, Elizabeth.
ROYAL DELTA DODGES SANDY: Luck was on trainer Bill Mott's side - along with big expectations - before he even arrived to attempt a repeat-sweep of Friday's Ladies' Classic and Saturday's $5 million Classic.
His four Breeders' Cup starters, defending Ladies' Classic champion Royal Delta and three horses he's set to saddle in Saturday's classic, shipped out of Newburgh, N.Y. Monday morning, just ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Sandy.
"It went off without a hitch,'' Mott said outside his stable Friday morning. "It could have been bad with the hurricane and all, but actually went off as planned.''
There was one small problem not related to the storm - Royal Delta didn't have the smoothest boarding experience.
"The only setback was with the mare when she scraped herself getting on the plane,'' Mott said. "And that was enough trauma for me for one experience.''
SCRATCHES FOR BREES, BAFFERT: Worth Repeating, whose owners include New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, and two other horses were scratched from their respective Breeders' Cup races.
Worth Repeating won't run in the Marathon; Sustained is out of the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf; and Super Ninety Nine won't run in the $500,000 Juvenile Sprint, with all three races to be run later in the day.
Trainer Mike Machowsky said Worth Repeating wasn't quite right after training on Thursday and was checked again by a vet on Friday. He said the 6-year-old horse wasn't 100 percent and he won't run him in that condition. Brees is part of the Donkey Island Racing LLC group that owns Worth Repeating.
Sustained's defection allows Ireland-based Infanta Branca into the Juvenile Fillies Turf. Trainer Dale Romans said Sustained had been bothered by a right front hoof bruise, which flared up again Friday and resulted in the decision to drop out.
Baffert said Super Ninety Nine got tangled in his stall early Friday morning and sustained scrapes.
"It is really too bad,'' said Baffert, whose Breeders' Cup entries were reduced from 10 to nine. "He was going to win that race, and it was his owner's first horse - her very first horse and her very first Breeders' Cup.''